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President of India presents Padma Awards for Year 2021 (PHOTO)

Other News Materials 10 November 2021 16:07 (UTC +04:00)
President of India presents Padma Awards for Year 2021 (PHOTO)

The President of India, Mr. Ram Nath Kovind presented Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri Awards for the year 2021, on November 9, 2021 at the Civil Investiture Ceremony held at Rashtrapati Bhavan. Among the dignitaries present on the occasion were the Vice President of India, Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs. One of the highest civilian honours in India, the Padma awards, were conferred on 119 recipients in 2021.

Many of the awardees represent the personal tales of overcoming adversaries and grassroots activities including ecological contribution/ social works. One of the prominent Awardee of Padma Shri is Jagdish Lal Ahuja who served free food daily to hundreds of poor patients and attendants outside PGIMER. He also provided patients other support, from financial assistance to blankets and clothes. He had started serving free food in the 1980s and moved to PGIMER in 2000 to serve over 2,000 people daily for 15 years. Self-made millionaire, who had come to India empty handed during partition, sold off properties worth crores to fuel his mission, and continues to serve undeterred even by a stomach cancer. Born in Peshawar in Pakistan, partition had forced him into becoming the sole breadwinner of the family at a young age. He looks for his own lost childhood through the eyes of the children he feeds.

Another remarkable awardee is K. K. Ramachandran Pulavar, “11th Generation Shadow Puppeteer who has performed in 45+ countries on Indian culture and mythologies”. From the sole family propagating the art, he is reviving and recreating age-old Tolpavakoothu shadow puppetry. The original Tolpavakoothu performance lasts for 10 hours, from dusk to dawn and is performed for 21 days at temple festival in Koonathara, Shornur. He took this art form outside of temple premises – incorporated ancient techniques in contemporary forms and performed in more than 45 countries. Apart from performing mythological stories of Ramayana and Puranas in over 40 temples. He also performed shows describing Mahatma Gandhi’s freedom struggle and raised awareness on topics like women empowerment, road safety etc.

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